Uneccesary internet mandate

I’m considering buying a Tablo to replace a PC/DVR. I have confirmed an internet connection is required!? I’ve read the FAQ https://www.tablotv.com/blog/tablo-faqs-do-i-need-internet-use-tablo-ota-dvr/.

  1. Time setting, my TV seems to be able to set the time via OTA signal, so why can a tablo?
  2. TV guide is optional, although I understand provides greater usability.
  3. Firmware upgrade - sure. But is have a USB, so it may be a pita but external upgrade possible.
  4. Discovering new devices… on my local network. I have several computer and devices which all communicate locally.
  5. Out-of-the-home streaming is optional.

6 - what data-mining information are you collecting? It’s to be expected and almost seem to be the only reason to actually require an internet connection.

If (perhaps minority) those who wish to use a web based pc to access the tablotv an interment connection, technically, should not be required.

Any development plans to change this?

I agree, a non-internet option would be great.

Perhaps you’ll get an official position from Tablo Monday, but

  1. The vast majority of Tablo owners use the 14 day program guide for the ease of use in setting up recording. This feature involves downloading upcoming program information and cover art each night using the internet connection
  2. Tablo has a history of introducing new features a couple of times per year. They also provide bug fixes when needed. I think the vast majority of Tablo users like this and want the rollout of updates to be as easy as possible. Tablo could develop an offline upgrade method, but relatively few owners would make use of it, so I don’t think Tablo would consider the development costs to be an effective investment.
  3. Remote viewing is a differentiator and a function used by many owners (though I doubt it’s an overwhelming majority).

Other features / requirements aside, those three factors make an internet connection a core function of the Tablo.

I understand your concern about information-gathering. It is a widespread occurrence ongoing by many smart TV vendors, phone operating system vendors, email providers, search engines, social media, credit card companies, store loyalty cards… It’s difficult to fully avoid and the information Tablo could gather is, IMO, relatively benign compared to some of the other platforms. However, if it’s a big concern for you and you’re avoiding the multitude of sources gathering data, perhaps this isn’t the best platform for you. There are a few DVR platforms that don’t require internet (at the expense of some features).


I understand the convenience of internet connectivity, and generally, for the streaming devices the majority uses it’s probably not even considered. I’m not necessarily against it, just don’t like the mandate for a web-based HTPC (not in my basement), on a local network.

I already know Hulu knows not just what I’ve watch but even considered watching and when… have a pattern of my daily routine, and Amazon knows almost as much as Google. I take the time to disable app I never use turn off services I have need. No it’s not avoidable, but I do want to be aware of it and limit what options I can.

As for OTA tv viewing, even that privacy is understandably, finally lost. I have read other post from current users understand technically this is unnecessary. Not everyone was supervised to learn we can get the same channels free. We’ve used and antenna for 30yrs (not sure what and “HD” one does different), building a dvr from a pc waiting on the market.

Most companies have, for any number of reasons, either planned to change or have changed to cloud based HTML apps.

Tablo has other non-HTML based apps. But keep searching you might find a PC based WEB app that doesn’t require the internet.

That sheds a bit of light. tablo doesn’t have even a light weight http server. It just’s just a resource for the “tablo.com” server to collect data to server your specific tablo web page.

Since it’s accessible from a variety of sources, fire, rouku, pc, each just has it’s own “app” and collects local data

…to extremely overly simplify things.

thank you

We must know how many episodes of Judge Judy you watch daily.
Can’t sleep without knowing.

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At least it’s Judge Judy.

Now “they” know I have all 60 episodes of “car 54 where are you” and all 30 episodes of “my mother the car”.

“They” are probably trying to get a 5150 hold on me.

I get it, but the know when you watch it, how long you watch - when you’re home and not, "aggregated’ with everything else you do… they know! I realize the ‘conspiracy theory’ is a bit extreme. Today, free has come to mean no out-of-pocket cost. That’s not true, no giant corporation is going to give something with out profiting from it.

With a “free” app or services - the user becomes the commodity. Here I’m buying a product. What service are they providing “free”? if I can’t use the expensive product with out their benefit.

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All “they” may know is that it’s on my DVR and it may have been played. “They” have no idea who is actually watching it.

Wait until “they” find out I’ve strapped my 2-year old into his highchair and forced him to watch Car 54 while I went down to the bar.


This reminds me I need to watch X Files, but, I agree, that is exactly what they’re doing.
However, it’s not a conspiracy, it’s business.

You got me thinking about something, though.
I don’t care if everyone knows all details regarding my Judge Judy watching habits.
However, I would care if that information was used for evil purposes.

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Ooh! Ooh! I didn’t know we could still strap 2year olds. But is he still enough for you to watch and hear the show?

I don’t think the tablo server needs the internet if you don’t want a guide subscription and want to delay firmware updates.

And tablo apps, such as Roku, that use restful APIs also don’t need the internet.

But the original question was about WEB based PC apps - which I assume means browser/HTML. And I think all of these reside on AWS cloudfront.

This statement is ridiculous.
Who else would be watching Judge Judy, except me?

It could be that no one is watching.

Some people leave the TV on when they are out running errands. They want possible intruders to think someone is home.

And no burglar wants to interrupt and thus piss off someone watching Judge Judy.

After reading this thread, I wonder why you don’t get a VCR & digital converter? If you don’t want the internet connection, guide or any of that. You could just set the channel and duration and get your recording. Want more storage, buy more tapes.

The internet connection gives me the conveniences I expect from a modern recorder: Guide with rich metadata (really helps with those complex recording scenarios), updated software, active technical support, and out of home interaction like scheduling or streaming. A Tablo WITHOUT the internet wouldn’t be worth having. I do wish it was a little better about devices connecting to the unit without internet for the few times my internet is down.

And yes, for these conveniences I am probably sacrificing viewing habit data. The same way that if I want to search for something on the internet, Google updates my profile. Or when I purchase something, Amazon updates my profile. Etc. Etc.

On the other hand I do enjoy the fact that maybe advertisers are seeing how many commercials I skip through!

I’ll bet even George Orwell would have a mobile phone if he were alive today! :wink:

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Tablo without internet still beats my 1970’s BetaMax. With tablo I can still stream recordings to devices within my LAN. And I can still use the various Restful APi’s apps to schedule manual recordings.

It’s known as non-snowflake mode. No helicopter or lawn mower parents allowed.

George Orwell would own a non-smart flip phone and only turn it on in an emergency.

Various tablo restful API apps, such as the Roku app, work fine when the internet is down.

The problem that arises is if the DHCP server is on the ISP router, it also goes down.

This is not a problem until your device is “required” to renew it’s IP lease. Consumer ISP routers usually have a hard coded lease time. Most have 24 hours but some have a much shorter time.

Renewal starts at 1/2 of the lease time and continues until expiration. After expiration IP access is denied. Some people check their router lease time by using the ipconfig -all utility.

Yup, I had cloudfront blocked. I was missing all artwork and could not use the browser to access my Tablo. Guide data appears to come from somewhere other then cloudfront.

I’m not exactly sure what you mean by that. Maybe you mean people leasing or borrowing a router? Your local router in your home issues it’s own leases for local IP addresses (anything 192.x.x.x or 10.x.x.x).
Personally I bound my Tablo to a local IP to avoid issues and I recommend it to anyone using the remote viewing option.

I also recomend you check the default settings on any router installed by your ISP. I check defaults on friends and families networks and I have found the passwords left to the default by the installers.

If this is an important issue for you, perhaps a TABLO is not the device for you…

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